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pfas

CEYHUN (JAY) ISIK / CREATIVE COMMONS

New state limits are now in effect for PFAS chemicals in public drinking water supplies.  The now-common industrial contaminants have been linked to health risks. 

New Hampshire's new standards are the nation’s strictest, and largely the first of their kind. 

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: September 20, 2019

Sep 20, 2019

An historic number of vetoes by Governor Sununu means the legislature revisits bills on gun control, voting access laws, alternative energy and more. We get an update on continuing negotiations over the state budget.  And with a Global Climate Strike taking place Friday, we find out how New Hampshire students are participating. 

GUESTS:

Heather Hayward / U.S. Air Force

Governor Chris Sununu signed two bills Tuesday banning the use of some products that contain harmful PFAS and other chemicals.

The industrial compounds have been linked to a wide array of health problems.

File Photo

A trial run of the first major federal health study on PFAS chemicals is ready to begin at Pease International Tradeport.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen's office said Thursday that the project at the former air base in Portsmouth had received final approval from federal budget officials.

High levels of PFAS were found in drinking water at Pease in 2014. Research has linked the industrial chemicals to a range of diseases.

Courtesy of Flickr

 

New Hampshire is getting federal money to study the health effects of toxins near a Superfund site in Berlin and in homes and private wells statewide.

The state Department of Health and Human Services’ Public Health Laboratory announced Monday it will use over $5 million from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor residents’ blood and urine samples after potential exposure to chemicals.

Its goal: Increase the state’s understanding of toxin exposure and effective interventions.

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The city of Lebanon is asking other communities to join in a potential lawsuit over how state lawmakers approved new limits on PFAS chemicals in drinking water.

A legislative committee put the new PFAS standards to a vote at their mid-July hearing without giving a chance for any public testimony.

It was a surprise to people on both sides of the issue who'd come expecting to speak.

N.H. DES

 

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services is conducting its most extensive sampling of private wells in the state's history.

Over the next year, DES will sample 500 pre-selected wells for hundreds of contaminants with the goal of understanding overall water quality in private wells across the state.

DES will test for everything from bacteria and metals to PFAS chemicals, which have been linked to health problems.

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Tests by New Hampshire regulators show PFAS chemicals in bottled water brands sold across New England.

The Department of Environmental Services tested for PFAS in a random sample of bottled water sold in the state.

CDC.gov Photo

Officials will cut the ribbon Tuesday on a major water treatment plant at Pease International Tradeport.

The new system will scrub PFAS chemicals out of the large aquifer that once supplied drinking water at the former Air Force base.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Hampshire on Thursday adopted the country’s most sweeping limits for PFAS chemical contamination in drinking water.

The strict standards won approval from the state legislature’s administrative rules committee, along roughly party lines.

NHPR

Some local officials are worried the state is moving too fast on new regulations to limit PFAS chemicals in drinking water.

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New restrictions on PFAS and what that means for Granite State communities. These chemicals have been found in public water supplies around the state. Used for decades in such products as Teflon and Gortex, they've been linked to serious health problems, spurring communities to take action, including lawsuits. Now, after intense pressure from community activists, New Hampshire officials have proposed some of the lowest PFAS limits in the country. We'll find out what's in store now, in terms of testing, following the health effects of these chemicals, and more. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Hampshire's congressional delegation is pushing back after the Trump administration signaled it would reject some new PFAS chemical regulations in a big defense spending bill.

Trump says he'll veto the bill if it reaches his desk with a host of provisions still inside, including two, championed by New Hampshire lawmakers, that pertain to harmful PFAS chemicals.

Those provisions include more treatment requirements for PFAS water contamination from military sources, and a ban on military use of PFAS-based firefighting foam.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Hampshire is at the forefront of a growing debate over PFAS chemical contamination in drinking water. And many of the Democrats campaigning to win the state’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary are taking notice.

They’re using the issue to connect with a highly engaged block of potential Granite State voters – and local PFAS activists are welcoming the attention.


Michigan.gov

State environmental officials on Friday proposed what would be some of the lowest limits in the country for four types of PFAS chemicals in public water supplies and groundwater.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Regulators say there aren't unsafe or increasing levels of PFAS chemical contamination in drinking water wells around the Seacoast's Coakley Landfill.

But many residents and state legislators disagree with that analysis – and they’re unhappy that contamination hasn’t been addressed more quickly at the Superfund site.

Seth Moulton Talks PFAS Contamination in Merrimack

Jun 17, 2019
Sara Ernst / NHPR

Presidential candidate Seth Moulton echoed the sentiments of local leaders gathered at Merrimack Town Hall: Increase access to PFAS testing and strengthen enforcement on the federal level.

 

Officials from Merrimack invited Moulton, as well as all the presidential hopefuls, to participate in a community discussion Monday to learn more about PFAS contamination in New Hampshire.

Simon Shek Flickr CC

Unpublished federal data shows high levels of toxic PFAS chemicals in a sample of food products.

The nonprofit Environmental Working Group obtained details of food samples taken in the mid-Atlantic by the Food and Drug Administration.

John K via Flickr CC

State and federal officials say Nashua’s drinking water supplies are safe from contamination by a long-dormant Superfund site.

That's despite recent tests showing elevated levels of toxic PFAS chemicals in the groundwater at what's called the Sylvester site.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The proposed state budget up for a vote this week in the N.H. Senate includes money to address PFAS chemical contamination issues.

The increasing awareness of PFAS contamination has already been costly for the state, towns and water utilities.

Among other efforts, the state Department of Environmental Services is preparing to release new drinking water limits on four types of PFAS.

Assistant DES commissioner Clark Freise says it'll only increase costs.

File Photo

People who say they were exposed to PFAS chemicals at what’s now Pease International Tradeport are suing a group of chemical companies.

The federal class-action suit was filed just days before New Hampshire sued the same companies and one other for statewide water contamination.

The suits name companies like 3M and DuPont, as well as makers of firefighting foams that contained PFAS.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: May 31, 2019

May 31, 2019

We recap the fate of the state's death penalty and the efforts to override the governor's veto. The state files two statewide lawsuits against eight companies, including 3M, DuPont and its spinoff, Chemours, for environmental contamination caused by PFAS chemicals. Senate budget writers try to wrap up the state spending plan with a close eye on education funding. And we preview the events in celebration of the bicentennial of the New Hampshire State House.

GUESTS:

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Hampshire is suing the original makers of toxic PFAS chemicals for allegedly contaminating the state's drinking water.

At a press conference Wednesday, Gov. Chris Sununu joined officials from the Departments of Justice and Environmental Services to announce two statewide lawsuits against eight companies – including 3M, DuPont and its spinoff, Chemours.

"New Hampshire is taking, again, a preeminent position not just for ourselves and our citizens, but in the country ... in making a stand against the introduction of the PFAS compounds into our drinking water," Sununu says.

Joe Shlabotnik/flickr

The U.S. Senate will vote next month to fund more regulation and study of the effects of PFAS chemical contamination

Many of the provisions come from New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who helped get the policies included in the latest National Defense Authorization Act.

The full Senate is expected take up the annual spending bill in the coming weeks. The provisions include a ban on military use of firefighting foams that contain PFAS after 2022.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: May 3, 2019

May 2, 2019

New Hampshire lawmakers consider three gun control bills which may have traction in a democratically-controlled legislature. Fingerprint recognition and DNA kits are becoming common;  should we be concerned about how our "biometric" information is being used? Senator Shaheen reintroduces a bill in Congress on PFAS health effects. And we get a personal look at how working at Pease can affect your health. 


Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Officials in Kingston say they’ll wait for more data before taking action on potential water contamination around a long-dormant Superfund site.

The Ottati and Goss Superfund site, off Route 125 near the Newton town line, is surrounded by campgrounds, homes, businesses and a popular swimming and fishing area, Country Pond.

Between the 1950s and 1980s, the site housed a business that cleaned chemicals out of steel drums and sold the drums for reuse.

N.H. DES

Scientists with the Centers for Disease Control will be in Portsmouth Tuesday to talk about their latest report on health risks from past water contamination at Pease International Tradeport.

That report agrees with existing research that says it's very possible that toxic PFAS chemicals from military activities created health risks for children and adults at the Tradeport.

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

Public comment closes today on New Hampshire’s proposed limits for four types of toxic PFAS chemicals in drinking water.

The Department of Environmental Services has suggested recent science from Minnesota could lead to stricter standards for testing and treatment of PFAS at public water systems.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Federal lawmakers want more health care for veterans exposed to toxic PFAS chemicals, including at the former Pease Air Force Base.

Around 400 military installations, including Pease, are thought to have PFAS contamination stemming from use of firefighting foam.

NHPR Photo

 

The U.S. Army has put a price tag on releasing the results of water tests for a dangerous contaminant at military installations: nearly $300,000.

In a March 12 letter, the Army told the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy group, that the military would charge the group $290,400 to provide records of water tests at 154 installations for a family of compounds known as PFAS, which federal authorities say appear linked to certain cancers and other health and developmental problems.

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